Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sylvie in Black & White

..and one in color. I've been privileged to see most of the great ballet dancers (male & female) perform or rehearse, from the mid-60s through the present. (One of my sisters nearly went in that direction .The grueling Royal Academy examinations--yikes. My mother was nearly driven to her own mad Giselle scene dealing with the specs for examination tunic sewing.)

The Royal Ballet had not been to Washington, DC for at least 10 years (not looking it up) & I was so upset that I'd not seen Sylvie Guillem, French-born, prima ballerina of the Royal. When in London, not the season. Of course. So when word came of a tour stop here, I was very excited. The man in my life? Not so much. He was no slouch in the culture department, it just didn't get him (he said). So one asks, as one should, "Bad experience? Five thousand Nutcrackers your only exposure to ballet?" No. Never been. Aha! So you can't really say that you dislike it, can you? No, which one should we go to? I thought, OK, Swan Lake since it's important in the canon (though I'd seen 5,000 times) & because Sylvie Guillem was scheduled for several performances. I told this man that she was beautiful & French & he would be dazzled. Yeah, yeah.

We didn't take two pair of opera glasses to the performance. We were quite close, really; still, as soon as he laid eyes on Sylvie, that was it. Hogged them the rest of the evening. I don't think he's over it yet. I'm going through a clothes clear-out/reorganization & just found the pretty blue Royal Ballet sweatshirt he bought me that night. I thought they were too expensive but he wanted to thank me for his introduction to the ballet (read: Sylvie). A success.

By the way, AUREA has a good post on dance books; and artist Tina Tarnoff at Thought Patterns has a beautiful papercut of Sylvie in her etsy shop. Which I covet.

[Photographs of SG: 1) www.brisbanepowerhouse.org; 2) via www.dance.net/balletphotos; 3) baletinky.blog.cz/0708/4. Searching for original photographer names. I usually don't post unless I have them, but today, that's the way it'll have to be.]


Poetikat said...

I love it! Five thousand Nutcrackers? You are funny!
So, Sylvie won him over? Well, well.

I guess you'll be going to the Nutcracker at Christmas this year?


A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Susan -
I have been a fan of Sylvie Guillem for years but have never seen her dance in person. Your beau has good taste. Take a look at her website if you haven't already. She loves to take photos. Wish I could help you out with a laptop suggestion but I don't have one either.

corine said...

Hello girl. Just a quick hello. I have not read you in ages but I'm slooowly catching up. Talk to you soon!

Joanna Goddard said...

oh!!! what absolutely gorgeous photos. that last one is PERFECT.

Susan said...

Kat-I actually thought the other day, oh should I go this year (The Nutcracker)? I'll worry about THAT later.xo

Catherine-No longer my beau, but yes he always did have good taste. We are still good friends. Laptop decisions, alas, seem to be one of those go-it-alone deals. I have seen Sylvie's site--the last time though, it had crashed, oh my.

Corine-Hope re-entry into LA from Paris is not too stressful. Perhaps I hope for too much? xo

Dear Jo--They are beautiful--I only wish I could take credit. Alas, no. And have a beautiful wedding this weekend (29 August). Anyone who sees this, & you don't already read her, go immediately to Jo's site & wish her happy wedding & life. She's a wonderful person & her blog is delightful.


lettuce said...

i've only seen Sylvie in contemporary dance (which i love) - she is absolutely amazing.

simon said...

..and she smokes cigars and drinks coke too ( true!)

I am not surprised that your partner hogged the opera glasses. The only trouble with seeing ballet at this standard- everything else does not quite measure up.